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9th Circuit Lets C-SPAN|Broadcast Prop 8 Hearing

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - The 9th Circuit agreed that C-SPAN should be allowed to broadcast a two-hour Dec. 6 hearing on whether California's Proposition 8 should be struck down. C-SPAN will provide video to other media that get court permission to televise the hearing.

California voters approved Prop. 8 in 2008, banning same-sex marriage in the state. But U.S. District Judge Vaughan Walker struck down the law in August after a trial. Walker wanted that trial to be broadcast on the Internet, but the U.S. Supreme Court rejected it, ruling 5-4 that witnesses might be intimidated by the cameras.

The Dec. 6 hearing will involve arguments by attorneys, not testimony from witnesses. The 9th Circuit said it will devote the first hour to whether the sponsors of Prop. 8 and Imperial County have standing to appeal Judge Walker's ruling. The second hour will be devoted to whether the ban on gay marriage violates people's right to equal protection of the laws.

The state has standing to sue, but both Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown declined to appeal.

KRON TV Channel 4 News and the California Channel have been granted permission to televise the hearing.

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